Fuel (Xbox 360)

I love racing games, and titles that look to really provide more of an experience than is typically expected from a game in that genre. The game that looks to flip the script and really lay down the blueprint for what players should expect from a good racing title would be Fuel, Codemasters’ new title. The back of the box immediately shows the sheer amount of customization that players should get used to: aside from the countless vehicles (75) and races (70), there are nearly 200 different challenges that will further spice up a player’s experience.

This open-ended approach means that, no matter how long it has been since the player has purchased the title, they will find themselves coming back. For those perfectionists, the sharp driving and killer graphics will resound loudly, while players that just want to race against their online friends (up to 16) will always find a filled track. The ability of Fuel to work on all of these levels is what a racing game needs. Where there have been games primarily tuned to a specific subset of the population, the ability for players to race muscle cars, big rigs, 4X4s, dune buggies and the like will further bolster the sales of this title.

The environmental graphics deserve further discussion, as well. Fuel makes an authentic nighttime driving experience through realistic recreation of the lights emanating from headlights, as well as how they affect a player’s ability to accurately judge and determine the perfect path. There are not any discernible issues that I can find with Fuel, and for future iterations of the title, the only thing that I could conceivably think that Asobo and Codemasters could consider would have to be minor upgrades to the graphics, challenges, and car selection. I believe that Fuel will be the next big racing franchise; pick up this title to see if you agree with me.

Rating: 8.6/10

Fuel (Xbox 360) / 2009 Codemasters / http://www.codemasters.com / http://www.fuel-game.com

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